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SEO Terms: What is Link Authority?

SEO Terms: What is Link Authority?

What is Link Authority?

Link authority is an SEO term that’s important to understand. It’s an SEO metric derived from all the links that are directed to a website from all across the Web. It combines link quantity plus link quality.

It’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of link authority as a ranking factor. Imagine everything that goes into the infrastructure of a major city. There are bus and train stations, an airport, major thoroughfares, and maybe even a port of entry. It’s obvious that a city of this size would have a huge authoritative influence on the smaller towns that surround it.

Furthermore, when a highly authoritative website has other influential authoritative websites linking to it, the search engines are programmed to increase its authority.

This is why links are so important! But, what’s even more important is the quality if the links coming in. Therefore, it’s more advantageous to have a few links coming in from some websites of great importance or authority, than to have hundreds of links coming in from insignificant or unrelated websites.

Any website that is already considered a link authority, that has links pointing to it from other highly authoritative websites will typically rank much higher than a competitor’s website that doesn’t have any authoritative links coming into it – even if the competitor’s site has a higher number of links pointing to it, all other factors being equal.


Although link authority (total amount of links coming in) is important, it’s so much more important to have links coming into your website from other sites that are recognized authority sites. An effective linking strategy should focus on gaining incoming links from topically related sites as well as non-reciprocal one-way links. If you can accomplish this you will see higher rankings for your web pages compared to your competitor’s site with a higher quantity of incoming links, but few with much quality.